Sometimes there is nothing wrong with letting a child drown

Analysis 75 (2):204-212 (2015)

Travis Timmerman
Seton Hall University
Peter Singer argues that we’re obligated to donate our entire expendable income to aid organizations. One premiss of his argument is "If it is in your power to prevent something bad from happening, without sacrificing anything nearly as important, it is wrong not to do so." Singer defends this by noting that commonsense morality requires us to save a child we find drowning in a shallow pond. I argue that Singer’s Drowning Child thought experiment doesn’t justify this premiss. I offer my own Drowning Children thought experiment, which should reveal that commonsense morality entails that premiss two is actually false
Keywords Peter Singer  poverty  famine relief  global justice  shallow pond
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DOI 10.1093/analys/anv015
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References found in this work BETA

World Poverty and Human Rights.Thomas Pogge - 2002 - Ethics and International Affairs 19 (1):1-7.
Ethics and Intuitions.Peter Singer - 2005 - Journal of Ethics 9 (3-4):331-352.
Famine, Affluence, and Morality.Peter Singer - 1972 - Philosophy and Public Affairs 1 (3):229-243.

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Citations of this work BETA

Kant and the Demandingness of the Virtue of Beneficence.Paul Formosa & Martin Sticker - 2019 - European Journal of Philosophy 27 (3):625-642.
The Ethical Principles of Effective Altruism.Anthony Skelton - 2016 - Journal of Global Ethics 12 (2):137-146.
Poverty and the Peril of Particulars.Jordan Arthur Thomson - forthcoming - Journal of Applied Philosophy.

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